Camping On A Budget

Camping on a budget can be difficult if you have a large family. Read below to find some great savings tips so that you can enjoy camping without spending a lot of money.

Going camping with your family is a great way to spend quality time together without having to spend a lot of money. Read this article to learn tips on how you can go camping on a budget without having to sacrifice a fun time.

Family vacations can be so expensive. Between travel, hotels, food, attractions and entertainment, the money starts to add up and can easily cost a few thousand dollars. For some families the cost makes a family vacation seem unattainable, but if you love the outdoors, camping can be a fabulous and frugal alternative to a regular vacation.  You can go camping on a budget and have fun without emptying your savings account.

Tips for Camping on a Budget:

  • I hate going on a trip and realizing that I left something I really need at home. That means spending unnecessary money on a replacement. So, before I go camping I make 2 lists. The first is a camping checklist with everything that must be packed. The second is a meal planning list with every meal, snack and drink mapped out. These 2 lists ensure that nothing will be left behind. Everything we need is on these lists, from equipment to personal hygiene items to spices for cooking. Planning ahead and being organized is a guaranteed way to save a few dollars.
  • Do your research. There are thousands of free and low cost campsites across the United States. You can either park an RV, or set up your tents. Many of these sites offer a building with toilets and showers, a fire pit, picnic area and even some fun events like movie nights and contests. Camping On A Budget
  • If you have not been camping before and you need equipment, consider buying them used. This can save you hundreds of dollars. Search online at sites like Craigslist and Freecycle for tents, camping stoves, lanterns and other gear that you may need.
  • Use things that you already have in the house. Old pots and pans, dishes, cups, silverware, spare blankets and pillows can all be used on your camping trip instead of going out and buying more just for that purpose.
  • Eat inexpensive foods like hot dogs, vegetables, ground meat and canned goods that you can cook over a fire. Keep them in a cooler in a shaded area. Trail mix, jerky, and of course S’mores are great desserts and snacks. Fill gallon bottles with water from home instead of spending money on bottled water. Purchasing bottled water can be extremely expensive especially if you stay in a tourist area.
  • Lots of campsites offer free wifi, but the whole point of camping is to enjoy the outdoors. Do not spend a lot of money on activities by the campgrounds. Bring balls, frisbees and any other equipment for your favorite outdoor games.  Enjoy the fresh air and the quality time with your family without spending an extra penny.
  • The first time you go camping will be the most expensive trip because of the equipment you buy. Once you own the gear you will have it for many years and each camping trip after that will be so much cheaper. Camping on a budget is a great alternative to a traditional, more expensive vacation and offers just as much family fun!

Read More:

How to save for a family vacation

Summer Savings Ideas

Free Monthly Budget Template

What tips do you have for camping on a budget, please share in the comments below.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. I don’t mean to be the typo police but it cracked me up because it goes against the purpose of this post:

    “Camping on a budget can be difficult if you have a large family. Read below to find some great savings tips so that you can enjoy camping WITH spending a lot of money.” – emphasis added, mine. I think you intended to say, “without”. 😉

  2. These are great tips. I was just finished our family budget and the thought of an expensive vacation almost made me pass out. I love your ideas for some frugal camping fun. Especially the 2 lists ideas, because inevitably I forget something, and you’re right, then it is so expensive AND inconvenient to go and buy it.

    As far as games, have you guys tried playing spikeball? Its become one of our family’s and friend’s favorite games this year.

  3. Camping can be a really expensive investment, but it can definitely be done on a budget! Borrowing as much as you can when you camp is a good way to save some cash. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I am a frequent flyer and I do go travelling a lot. Yet recently, I usually take my daughter with me. We both love nature and being a part of nature. In deed, in this early Jan 2017, we plan to take a trip to enjoy the atmostphere when the spring comes.
    Thank you for sharing these info and please keep it up

  5. Really good information on camping stoves. Would love to recommend this to any backpacker who want to be a part of nature. Having the right gear and tools for your trip is only part of preparing for your camping trip. There are other skills which need to be mastered also.

    Thank you for sharing this and please keep it up

  6. I think these tips are invaluable. We are going to the Grand Canyon for camping in May and I’m glad I got these tips early enough as it will really help us save. Thank for this great post!

  7. After reading this article I have to say it certainly rings true.

    Camping when you first start out can be an expensive trip, but once invested the equipment stays for life so long as you look after the.

    Using pots and pans from home certainly helped me out when I first went camping using them from home we had some steel pots n cups which we used when they were put over a stove.

    I brought a tent that was out main expense but worth it. We borrowed a stove from a fellow camping friend it was a coleman.

    A great article and some good tips for anyone on a budget. 🙂

  8. I love this very different angle. Thanks for sharing. Yep – prep is everything when it comes to camping! And keeping an eye on the budget is always a priority. 🙂

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